1. Is a resume in German (CV auf Deutsch) and a German resume the same thing?
You need to know that a CV in German and a German CV (Lebenslauf) are two completely different things! CV in German can be called your Polish CV translated into German (some people just type cv auf deutsch in the browser). Such a CV has a Polish layout of content and sections, and only the language of the document is changed.
A Polish resume translated into German may be rejected by the employer for formal reasons!
If you want your resume in German to also be a German resume, you need to stick to rigid rules. The linguistic correctness of the document is just the beginning!
See now how a German resume differs from a Polish one and how to prepare a good Lebenslauf.
2. How to write a resume in German?
You already know that to prepare a good German resume, you can’t just translate your Polish resume. Therefore, below you will find a comprehensive explanation of the differences and a guide on how to write a resume in German.
1. headline in resume in German (Lebenslauf)
At the top of your resume in Polish it says “Curriculum Vitae? If so, you can remove it right away! In a resume in German, you must write the word “Lebenslauf” (resume) in the header. This is a generally accepted rule that Germans follow. To succeed in recruitment, you must keep an eye on the order of your resume!
What do you gain if you put “Lebenslauf” at the top of your resume? The employer will gain the impression that you know the culture and customs of the country where you are applying for a job. This increases your chances of receiving an invitation to an interview.
If you are applying for a job with a German company in Poland, also add “Lebenslauf” at the top of your German resume. Your potential employer will get the impression that your language skills are well-established, plus you’re also familiar with German customs.
This can work to your advantage especially if the job requires contact with German clients/contractors.
Note: Do not, under any circumstances, use the Latin phrase “Curriculum vitae.” It is used in Poland and English-speaking countries, but not in Germany.
2. what is the structure of a resume in German?
A German resume should have an orderly structure. As you can probably guess, Germans pay great attention to order. Meet the employer’s expectations and use the order they are accustomed to in your resume.
Here’s how to arrange sections in a resume in German:
- Personal information
- Professional Summary
- Other activities
- Place, date and signature.
3. personal information in a resume in German
The information in this section may surprise you, even if you are a master of writing resumes in Polish and CVs in English. Your existing resume probably includes your first name, last name, phone number and email address. The personal information section of a resume in German contains more information!
Here is the information you need to add to your resume in German:
- mailing address (give name of country)
- maiden name
- date of birth
- marital status
- The number of children you have (optional, but often practiced)
Personal data in a resume in German – a template:
If you enter this information, your resume in German will look credible to the employer. By doing so, you increase your chances of being invited to an interview.
Photo in German resume
Add a photo in the section with personal information. Photo for resume in German:
- must be passport size
- should be placed in the upper left or upper right corner of the resume
- should be professional.
German employers and recruiters are used to photos in resumes. What’s more, they judge your professionalism just by your photos! If you attach a bar photo to your resume in German, you can be almost certain that you won’t get the job.
In addition, with a photo you can make a more personal connection with a potential employer. A photo will also allow you to connect your skills to your persona once you come in for an interview.
A great resume, however, is not enough to get a job if you make mistakes at the interview.
Want to see what mistakes candidates make at an interview? Read this article: Job interview – 7 mistakes you make.
4. how to describe experience in a resume in German?
Have you heard of the rule that your resume should only list your most recent employers? If so, you’re probably not describing work experience from a dozen years ago.
However, if you are looking for a job in Germany and are writing your resume in German, you can list all your employers.
See how to describe each position:
- company name
- job title
Add to the position the scope of duties performed. You can use the phrase:
“Meine Verantwortungen umfassten:”
Want to make your resume in German even more effective?
In a German resume, just as in a Polish one, it is worth describing your achievements. If you list your successes, you increase your chances of being invited to an interview. The employer will think:
“If this candidate was successful in his previous job, chances are he will be equally successful in my company.”
How do you describe your achievements so that the employer will invite you for an interview?
Describe successes with numbers and percentages. Catch the employer’s attention and confirm that you brought a tangible benefit to the company. Need an example?
See what a resume in German (Lebenslauf) can include:
- Customer Service Manager/Manager im Kundenservice:
“I introduced a new system for customers to rate consultants. As a result, customer satisfaction with the service has increased from 89 to 96%.”
“Ich führte ein neues System der Bewertung von Mitarbeitern durch Kunden ein. Dadurch stieg die Kundenzufriedenheit über den Service von 89 auf 96%.”
- Sales Representative/Handelsvertreter:
“In six months, I’ve met 122% of my target in terms of new customer acquisition.”
“Innerhalb eines halben Jahres habe ich 122% meines Zieles auf dem Gebiet Gewinnung von Neukunden erreicht.”
See also various examples of resumes with described achievements.
5. is education important on a resume in German?
Have you used our tips to write a resume in Polish? If so, you know not to spend much space on the education section. It’s enough to include the name of the last school you completed. It’s also a mistake to write high school if you’ve completed higher education.
In a resume in German, you need to describe education in much more detail!
In addition to the name of the school and city, what should I put in the education section of my resume in German?
- final grade point average
- completed high school (even if you have a college degree) along with your final grade.
NOTE: Write the names of the schools in German.
That is, instead of V LO named after (Patron’s name) in (locality), type Gymnasium in (locality).
6. Is it worth listing additional activities and interests?
Have you contributed to organizations, or are you a volunteer? Be sure to put this information on your resume in German. It’s an accepted practice in Germany.
If you add additional activities, your resume in German will be more credible and convincing to a German employer.
Wondering whether to enter interests?
A German resume should refer to facts and show information “in a cool way.” What does this mean?
According to Gehrard Winkler, a contributor to Der Spiegel magazine’s “Career” section, sections of interest and personal strengths may be considered by an employer as too much bragging!
Therefore, if you want to enter additional information about yourself, focus on volunteering and extra activities.
7. the appearance of a resume in German
German employers adhere to the KISS principle. Do you know what it means? It stands for Keep It Short & Simple (Make your resume short and simple). What does a short resume mean?
As in Poland, the less unnecessary details your resume contains, the better. In addition, a German resume should be very simple. Avoid too much bold and italics. Use a font size of at least 11.
Note: Typos are one of the most common mistakes in resumes. While they are unlikely to disqualify you with a Polish employer, read your resume several times before you send it to a German company. Germans place a very high value on error-free documents!
Give your resume in German a name according to the formula: Surname_Name_Lebenslauf
See what a resume can look like from our resume builder (right). It’s simple and easy to read. It encourages a German employer to read it.